Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook No. (LDPM-193-01) 19 pp

August 2010

Long-Term Growth in U.S. Cheese Consumption May Slow

Cheese production and markets have emerged as important elements of the dairy industry over the past three decades. Supply-and-use analysis shows an upward trend in total cheese consumption over the past three decades. Nielsen 2005 retail Homescan data were used to analyze cheese consumption by location as well as by income, age, and racial/ethnic groups. Own-price and expenditure demand elasticities were also calculated using the Nielsen data. To the extent that increases in consumers' food expenditure translate into more cheese purchases, it is expected that total cheese consumption will continue to rise. However, changes in the demographic profile of the U.S. population may somewhat slow future growth.

Keywords: Cheese, cheese consumption, Nielsen retail Homescan data, elasticities of demand, per capita use, socioeconomic characteristics

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